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Hygienic Robots Getting More Food Prep Jobs
Robots have evolved rapidly and are making inroads with meat, poultry and dairy manufacturers.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Apr 10, 2012

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in six people in the United States gets sick from eating contaminated food each year. Foodborne illness is blamed for about 3,000 deaths annually. With 19 states currently in a sushi Salmonela alert and memories still fresh on Germany’s deadly 2011 bout with Salmonela that infected more than 2,400 people and killed 23 of them, the reception of hygienic robots entering the food preparation supply chain is an encouraging development. A new member of the food prep workforce is KLEENLine Corporation’s KLEENPick series utilizing the ABB Robotics IRB 360 FlexPicker.

KLEENLine selects the ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker for its new, ultra-sanitary high-speed robotic pick-and-place system. The KLEENPick FlexPicker model is hygienically designed for packaging applications with open food

The KLEENPick series, which features the IP69k stainless steel version of the FlexPicker, is designed to combat microbiological contamination in food processing, and address overall safety and sanitation concerns in the handling of food. The only delta robot on the market available in washdown, stainless washdown and cleanroom versions with ratings as high as IP69K, the KLEENLine Corporation is hygienically designed for use in packaging applications with open food, such as meat, dairy products and ready-made meals.

The robot has been configured to enable easy cleaning and reduced maintenance, and is available in a variety of configurations to meet payload, performance, working range and sanitation requirements.  A smaller footprint preserves valuable production space and allows the system to be built or retrofitted into new or existing production lines.  KLEENPick is KLEENLine’s first high-speed robotic picking system, building on their expertise in the stainless steel material handling and conveying equipment segment.

“Advancements in the hygienic design of robots have been driven by the increasing call to achieve the highest level of sanitation in the handling of raw food products,” said John Bubnikovich, executive director, marketing and business development, ABB Robotics. “Working with KLEENLine, a clear leader in the development and integration of sanitary processing equipment, will help bring the benefits of higher outputs and consistent hygiene to food, pharmaceutical and other sanitation sensitive applications.”

The KLEENPick series is available as a single robot, single product in-feed cell, as well as a multiple in-feed, multiple robot manufacturing system. It is fully configurable to meet individual requirements, and is available in both round and tubular stainless steel construction.

KLEENLine CEO Jim Laverdiere added, “Our partnership with ABB has enabled KLEENLine to offer our customers high speed robotic pick-and-place systems, adhering to the same stringent sanitary standards we’ve specialized in for over 25 years.”

ABB recently signed KLEENLine Corporation as a new system integrator in its Channel Partner Program.

 


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